Street Furniture, as the name says, manufactures street furniture for public spaces. Everything from bins, bollards, fountains, seats, and tables. We average around forty to fifty pieces of furniture per day. We ship all across Australia, as well as internationally. Because we are so lean, we are very agile. We can respond to last minute changes in projects, as well as be able to plan projects that are two or three years out. Keeping track of what we need when we need it and when it’s going to be installed is very very important to us. If something was out of date it could significantly impact on us being able to make that customers’ requirements. We built a lot with Excel spreadsheets, relying very heavily on someone updating data, trying to make everything match up and marry up and generally end the mess. You literally had to retune what you’re looking at every time because the information basis was different each time. Effectively it would cost a huge amount both financially and in reputation, which was just not a tenable way to run the business.
iCharts to us is a way of visually seeing all the information and the data that’s currently flowing through NetSuite. At a glance we can very quickly understand where we’re at, where things are going, and what needs to be done. We’re using it as a very much a lot of a live day to day and even minute to minute tracking of our operational processes. Half of us would have them on their screens at all times. Watching those jobs go through and being able to identify issues and deal with them well and truly before anything causes any problems. The advantage of a very visual system is that you don’t need to be an expert in any one department. It becomes quite clear if the system is laid out clearly. Even someone with minimal explanation can look at the charts and understand where you’re at and what needs to be done. When an order has come into to the system that doesn’t have the allocated time or resources, we pick it up immediately and it’s addressed, purely by using that visual management and being able to see it happen live on the system. We’ve been able to better manage our stock levels. We’ve gone from 200 days to 90 days stock turnover. It’s basically brought our stock levels down by several hundred thousand dollars. Freeing up the time of the senior managers to actually do what they meant to do which is to manage their departments not spend hours and hours creating Excel graphs is a huge save of the business. We are all very much addicted to that data and that information and knowing where we’re at, and we’re in no way keen to get back to the more basic information that was presented by standard NetSuite.
We’re very lean focused. Everything we do is about improving how we do it and reducing the waste, and not doing things that don’t make us any money. The whole visual management concept. Being able to make decisions based on real live data, rather than relying on reports that could be days, weeks, or months old, is invaluable. If you want information that’s presented in such a way that everyone from the shop floor to the directors can look at the same graph and understand it quickly and easily, then you need to go to iCharts in order to ensure that people read it, and understand it. It’s saved us a huge amount both in cost and outlay, as well as improving our reputation as a business of being able to deliver on time. It makes life very much easier and simpler for everyone.